Author Topic: What are the hidden gems at Costco?  (Read 2021 times)

luchorpan

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What are the hidden gems at Costco?
« on: July 13, 2021, 07:09:00 PM »
Itís time for my family to retire our Costco membership for a while - itís too far away from our new home and thereís an Aldi much closer. We will make a final trip to stock up before our membership expires. What are the great deals that youíd miss if you stopped shopping there?

We will definitely be getting diapers, Kirkland laundry detergent, a ton of cheeseÖ
I rarely explore the non-grocery side of the store - anything awesome over there that I should know about?

nereo

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Re: What are the hidden gems at Costco?
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2021, 07:20:47 PM »
Cheese, coffee, nuts, olive oil, coconut oil, hot sauce (Redís), butter, frozen berries, granola bars, flour, yeast, chocolate chipsÖand of course the $1,50 hot dog on the way out.

Iíve also gotten some quality kitchenware there (I particularly love their nested stainless bowls) - but as thatís a once-in-a-decade+ purchase itís not sustaining my visits.  They also have the best prices Iíve found on the kind of pen I like. Canít say Iíve bought much ďfrom the middleĒ (mostly clothes) as Iíve found better/cheaper stuff at swaps and thrift shops.

Honestly the cheese and nuts alone make the annual membership pay for itself in our family.

JLee

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Re: What are the hidden gems at Costco?
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2021, 07:25:48 PM »

Trudie

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Re: What are the hidden gems at Costco?
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2021, 07:58:02 PM »
Clothes, wool socks, workout leggings, double packages of copier paper, potting soil, led bulbs, ginormous packages of batteries, ECOS laundry detergent (frequently on sale), garden clogs, sun hats....just a few of the non grocery items I love.

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: What are the hidden gems at Costco?
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2021, 08:02:18 PM »
Nuts, coffee, vitamins/supplements, wine/alcohol (if available), frozen berries

sonofsven

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Re: What are the hidden gems at Costco?
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2021, 09:12:51 PM »
Emergen-C vitamin c supplement
Epsom salts

luchorpan

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Re: What are the hidden gems at Costco?
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2021, 05:15:40 AM »
Thank you all for the suggestions! Iím not sure we have room for storing a ton of perishables but Iíll spend some time doing freezer tetris before we make our list. Might have to try those melonasÖ

@nereo - How long can yeast keep? We only make bread about once a week, if that, so I never thought to buy it at Costco.

Dicey

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Re: What are the hidden gems at Costco?
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2021, 06:09:19 AM »
Thank you all for the suggestions! Iím not sure we have room for storing a ton of perishables but Iíll spend some time doing freezer tetris before we make our list. Might have to try those melonasÖ

@nereo - How long can yeast keep? We only make bread about once a week, if that, so I never thought to buy it at Costco.
It keeps a couple of years if you store it in the freezer.

moonpalace

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Re: What are the hidden gems at Costco?
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2021, 07:10:06 AM »
Pesto!

LaineyAZ

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Re: What are the hidden gems at Costco?
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2021, 07:50:11 AM »
The adult and children's books can be a great buy.  And their gasoline and tire prices are pretty good.

I also have a friend whose family purchased their home heat pump from Costco, so if you're looking at some of those bigger home purchases like mattresses, hot water heaters, etc., I would definitely consider Costco before your membership expires.

Dicey

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Re: What are the hidden gems at Costco?
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2021, 08:07:22 AM »
Pesto!
Funny, I buy a ton of that when it's on sale and it freezes well, too.

nereo

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Re: What are the hidden gems at Costco?
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2021, 10:12:33 AM »

@nereo - How long can yeast keep? We only make bread about once a week, if that, so I never thought to buy it at Costco.

As Dicey said, a couple of years in the freezer, and at least 6 months in a kitchen cabinet. They sell Red Star (which I love) and in the 2lb format.  SO much cheaper than those $4 tiny jars sold in the supermarket.  But yes, it's a crap-ton of yeast, and lasts us for most of a year and we do a lot of baking.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2021, 10:56:16 AM by nereo »

luchorpan

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Re: What are the hidden gems at Costco?
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2021, 10:25:15 AM »
Pesto!

YES we love their pesto. I will definitely be making freezer space for that!

norajean

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Re: What are the hidden gems at Costco?
« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2021, 10:32:36 AM »
Not very well hidden but those massive pillow cases full of popcorn seem to sell well.

Roadrunner53

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Re: What are the hidden gems at Costco?
« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2021, 11:09:47 AM »
Why don't you keep your membership and still order stuff on line? You can't get everything you can by going to the to store itself but they have a lot to offer on line. I order different frozen burgers, salmon burgers, chicken patties on top of coffee and tons of other stuff. I rarely go to Costco but order frequently on line!

Malcat

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Re: What are the hidden gems at Costco?
« Reply #15 on: July 14, 2021, 11:40:35 AM »
You can still shop at Costco with their gift cards, you don't need a membership.

GuitarStv

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Re: What are the hidden gems at Costco?
« Reply #16 on: July 14, 2021, 12:29:44 PM »
Thank you all for the suggestions! Iím not sure we have room for storing a ton of perishables but Iíll spend some time doing freezer tetris before we make our list. Might have to try those melonasÖ

@nereo - How long can yeast keep? We only make bread about once a week, if that, so I never thought to buy it at Costco.
It keeps a couple of years if you store it in the freezer.

More than a couple!  I've had no problems baking bread with ten year old yeast kept in the freezer.

slappy

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Re: What are the hidden gems at Costco?
« Reply #17 on: July 14, 2021, 01:15:10 PM »
Why don't you keep your membership and still order stuff on line? You can't get everything you can by going to the to store itself but they have a lot to offer on line. I order different frozen burgers, salmon burgers, chicken patties on top of coffee and tons of other stuff. I rarely go to Costco but order frequently on line!

If OP is moving to an area with an ALDI, stuff will likely be much cheaper there. I live near a Market Basket, and prices are pretty comparable with Costco, so Costco isn't really worth the trip. I do order a couple things online, but nothing I couldn't get elsewhere for just a small amount more.

jrhampt

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Re: What are the hidden gems at Costco?
« Reply #18 on: July 14, 2021, 02:03:33 PM »
Wine etc. Stock up on the alcohol.

Malcat

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Re: What are the hidden gems at Costco?
« Reply #19 on: July 14, 2021, 03:08:58 PM »
Why don't you keep your membership and still order stuff on line? You can't get everything you can by going to the to store itself but they have a lot to offer on line. I order different frozen burgers, salmon burgers, chicken patties on top of coffee and tons of other stuff. I rarely go to Costco but order frequently on line!

If OP is moving to an area with an ALDI, stuff will likely be much cheaper there. I live near a Market Basket, and prices are pretty comparable with Costco, so Costco isn't really worth the trip. I do order a couple things online, but nothing I couldn't get elsewhere for just a small amount more.

Yeah, I don't shop at Costco to save money, I shop there for the high quality. I pretty much won't buy avocados or yoga pants anywhere else.

jac941

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Re: What are the hidden gems at Costco?
« Reply #20 on: July 14, 2021, 03:59:41 PM »
The Kirkland organic peanut butter. Just peanuts and salt, but super smooth. That peanut butter is the only reason Iím willing to put up with the chaos of shopping there.

nereo

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Re: What are the hidden gems at Costco?
« Reply #21 on: July 14, 2021, 05:01:51 PM »
Thank you all for the suggestions! Iím not sure we have room for storing a ton of perishables but Iíll spend some time doing freezer tetris before we make our list. Might have to try those melonasÖ

@nereo - How long can yeast keep? We only make bread about once a week, if that, so I never thought to buy it at Costco.
It keeps a couple of years if you store it in the freezer.

More than a couple!  I've had no problems baking bread with ten year old yeast kept in the freezer.

What in godís name are you keeping yeast in a freezer for ten years?  Clean your fridge man!

I havenít ever even lived anywhere for ten years in order to hoard something away for that longÖ

Dicey

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Re: What are the hidden gems at Costco?
« Reply #22 on: July 14, 2021, 05:18:06 PM »
Thank you all for the suggestions! Iím not sure we have room for storing a ton of perishables but Iíll spend some time doing freezer tetris before we make our list. Might have to try those melonasÖ

@nereo - How long can yeast keep? We only make bread about once a week, if that, so I never thought to buy it at Costco.
It keeps a couple of years if you store it in the freezer.

More than a couple!  I've had no problems baking bread with ten year old yeast kept in the freezer.

What in godís name are you keeping yeast in a freezer for ten years?  Clean your fridge man!

I havenít ever even lived anywhere for ten years in order to hoard something away for that longÖ
Lol, I was going to say "indefinitely" but thought better of it. Look what's happened since...

GuitarStv

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Re: What are the hidden gems at Costco?
« Reply #23 on: July 14, 2021, 06:29:21 PM »
Thank you all for the suggestions! Iím not sure we have room for storing a ton of perishables but Iíll spend some time doing freezer tetris before we make our list. Might have to try those melonasÖ

@nereo - How long can yeast keep? We only make bread about once a week, if that, so I never thought to buy it at Costco.
It keeps a couple of years if you store it in the freezer.

More than a couple!  I've had no problems baking bread with ten year old yeast kept in the freezer.

What in godís name are you keeping yeast in a freezer for ten years?  Clean your fridge man!

I havenít ever even lived anywhere for ten years in order to hoard something away for that longÖ

I found a good deal on several lbs of active dry yeast at one point, so was just keeping it in the freezer and pouring out a yeast jar's worth in the fridge whenever I ran out.  It served me well . . . right up until the pandemic when it actually ran out.

So of course, I panic bought 5 more lbs of yeast once I finally found some.  This is now living happily in the freezer again, until the next pandemic.  :P

luchorpan

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Re: What are the hidden gems at Costco?
« Reply #24 on: July 16, 2021, 11:29:51 AM »
Appreciate everyoneís suggestions. Iím glad we looked through the clothing - my husband got some new shoes for $12 and a couple pairs of pants. We often try to shop thrift, but it was nice to not have to spend time combing through racks to find the right stuff. We also found some great rugs on sale - saved me a 3-hour trip to ikea that Iíve been dragging my feet on. And motor oil! Had no idea there was a Kirkland brand! No melonas at my warehouse but that means more freezer space for pesto.

As for why weíre giving it up: at one point in the past costco was our neighborhood grocery store. Literally equidistant from our old apartment compared to a Whole Foods and Harris teeter, so it made sense to run into Costco weekly for cheap milk, their great natural peanut butter, their house roast fair trade coffee, regional honey, dried fruit (great price on prunes), etcÖ not to mention $10 takeout pizza on lazy nights.
 But when we have to make a big trip, personally, weíre too tempted to over-buy and go off-list. So when we live further away we have found it useful to get a membership every other year or so. Now that I know how cheap kids uniform clothes are there, Iím sure we will re-up the membership in a couple years once my kids are that age. But weíll try to hold off for a while- now that we can fill our basement with bulk dry goods we should be able to just make a quick aldi trip for milk, a little meat, some produce, which I find makes it easier to stick to our list, plus saves half a Saturday morning.
As long as you wait a certain number of months (I think itís 6?) your new membership will start from the new date; otherwise they charge it as a renewal from your previous expiration date.

Dicey

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Re: What are the hidden gems at Costco?
« Reply #25 on: July 16, 2021, 11:44:26 AM »
Re: Costco Pesto. It freezes just as you buy it. The container is pliable and there's enough headroom that it does just fine. Freezing does not seem to effect the color or texture. However: it is not superior to homemade pesto in a couple of ways.

Traditionally, home made pesto uses just five ingredients. Here's a great recipe: https://www.101cookbooks.com/pesto-recipe/

Note there is no salt added, partly because parmesan is packed full of it, so you don't need more!

Costco's version has more than a dozen ingredients, including more sunflower than olive oil, and salt is mentioned three times in the ingredient list. In fact, a 1/4 cup serving packs a whopping 630 milligrams of sodium whomp, whomp. However, it's damn good anyway and really is quite convenient, especially during winter months.

If you're making your own pizza, a 50/50 combo of pesto and tomato paste is very quick and tasty.

So now you know.

 

Wow, a phone plan for fifteen bucks!